Corporate yoga sessions benefit more than productivity. It can also boost creativity…
Let’s circle back to 2016 when I was personal-training several clients in Golden Gate Park. This one day, I was working with Lorrie, who’d had a stroke on the left side of her brain. The stroke paralyzed the right side of her body- her smile sloped downward, and her right arm was immobile. In addition to restrained mobility, her analytical abilities had also been affected. She had trouble remembering the time of our meeting– even though it had been the same time, same place, 2x/week, for 4 years. She couldn’t remember if she’d paid me or not. There were other difficulties, too.
To best support Lorrie, I began to research how a stroke affects the brain and how it affects movement, mind, and personality. I worked with physical therapists and learned that the location of the stroke affected the body differently. The right hemisphere controls the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere controls the right side of the body, not in any symmetry.
In addition to motor functions, the right hemisphere oversees creativity, intuition, long-term thinking, and collaboration. The left hemisphere powers one’s capacity for logic, analytical- and long-term thinking, and competition. No wonder Lorrie couldn’t remember what time our sessions were!
In many “worldviews,” these two sides are differentiated as “masculine” and “feminine.” We each carry a blend of these qualities within us, so this notion extends beyond biological identification. This leads us to categories of thought and people typing: leaders are more left-brained, painters are right-brained, etc.
Now, while it’s great to put one’s left-brained powers to work to lead a team, a company, or build a bridge, we all know that striking a balance is where a truly successful and healthy workplace comes from. Each of us should strive to balance the analytical and creative sides of our being. Learning how to collaborate with others enables you to become a stronger competitor.
5 ways to activate the creative brain
1. Drink with the left hand only
If you’re naturally right-handed, drink from your water glass from the left hand only. This helps activate the right brain and also sets the intention for leading with intuition.
2. Lead with the left foot first
In your yoga practice, start your sequences on the left side. When stepping into Crescent lunge or Warrior 2, step the left foot out first. This reinforces the notion of activating the right brain and is a good reminder to think more long-term.
3. Practice left nostril breathing
Try alternate-nostril breathing without alternating. Breath in through the left nostril and out through the right only. This helps activate the right hemisphere of the brain, boosting energy flow and inspiring creativity in the work that you do.
4. Open the doors with your left hand
Open doors with your left hand. As you get into your car or leave the house, lead with the left hand. Allow this to pave new inroads to collaborate with others.
5. Get your scroll on
Scroll through your phone with the left hand. As you browse apps with your left fingertips, allow your imagination to expand as the neurons in the right hemisphere of the brain continue to fire.
As you gain strength and greater familiarity with the left side of the physical body, try to bring more balance between the two sides and find harmony between the masculine and feminine.
Lorrie made great progress in her recovery overtime. She showed up to our sessions on time, waving to me with her right arm from across the parking lot. I think of her as I write this with my teacup (intentionally) on the left side of my desk. I continue to negotiate more balance with every sip as I run Office Yoga— I hope you notice good things as they come!
Office Yoga offers meditation, desk yoga, and vinyasa flow yoga classes to large corporations, B Corps, and individuals. Contact us here; we would love to hear from you!